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When is an EB-5 regional center required?

I do not know much about the EB-5 process. However, I already have a client overseas who would like to invest in the United States and obtain citizenship through the EB-5 program. Do I have to set up a regional center to manage their EB-5 investment? If so, what is the first step in starting an EB-5 regional center?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not clear from your facts whether you have a U.S. business and a potential EB-5 investor interested in direct EB-5 investment into your U.S. entity, or whether an EB-5 investor is looking to invest through a USCIS approved regional center project. If it is a direct investment, at least 10 full time jobs (at least 35 hours/week) will be required to be created by the U.S. entity through this EB-5 investment. The investment amount is $1 million for non-targeted employment areas or $500,000 if the U.S. business is in rural area or targeted employment area. The investor should consult an EB-5 immigration attorney to determine his or her eligibility for the EB-5 program.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center is required if the jobs to be created will be indirect and/or induced. If the investor will invest in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that will create at least 10 direct jobs for U.S. workers within two years, then a regional center is not required.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 regional centers are businesses with a "license" to facilitate EB-5 investment. These regional centers will sponsor the investment projects. Those representing investors can speak with one of the hundreds of existing regional center to determine their investment offerings.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not have to set up a regional center. The regional center concept was enacted so that the 10 job requirement could be fulfilled with indirect jobs as well as direct jobs. Your client could enroll in any number of existing regional center programs. The client could start their own business as long as the business plan would show the creation of 10 direct jobs over the period of the conditional permanent residency.

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 programs grants permanent residency, which can lead to citizenship by naturalization. You do not need a regional center to make an EB-5 investment. You can invest in your own business and create 10 new jobs in that to qualify for EB-5.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is advisable that you should consult an EB-5 attorney before proceeding further so as to address several of the questions you raised. You have some ideas of what you want to achieve, but they need to be addressed as part of the larger picture of what EB-5 stands for, its realities, and requirements for utilizing the EB-5 program.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It takes about 12-18 months to register a regional center and costs a huge amount of money to establish and apply for USCIS approval. If your client is willing to invest in an already established regional center, that would be preferable.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not have to set up an EB-5 regional center to move forward with the EB-5 program. The investment could be direct into the investor's own project, as long as that project meets the necessary capital investment and job creation requirements. Second, if the investor wishes to move through a regional center, you do not have to create a new regional center; rather, there are hundreds of regional centers already established in the United States. Actually, as of Feb. 1, 2016, USCIS has reported that there are 799 approved regional centers in the United States.

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    Olivia Orza

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may consider having your client invest in an existing regional center project.

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    Debbie Klis

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    No, a regional center is not required. The client could invest directly into a U.S. project that will create 10 "direct" jobs (full time permanent U.S. jobs). The regional center model is popular because those projects may also count indirect and induced jobs, which are calculated by qualified economists based on the amount of qualifying hard and soft costs of the project. Thus, real estate projects and non-real estate projects that are purchasing assets prefer to use regional centers to increase the job count.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center is only required if you want to count indirect jobs.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You should work with a broker/dealer in the United States to ascertain EB-5 projects offered through regional centers whose projects have been subjected to due diligence. Your client will also need an U.S. immigration attorney and likely a U.S. securities attorney to review the offering terms.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An investor can either invest in a regional center where the regional center project will create the 10 full time jobs or they can purchase or start their own business and create 10 full time jobs. There is lots of general information about the EB-5 project on the internet so perhaps read some of that to get an understanding. The question you ask is hard to answer as it would really require someone to explain the entire EB-5 program to you.

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